The hosts of the favored true crime podcast Crime Junkie are suspect by a former journalist and multiple fellow podcasters of exploitation their add episodes while not credit — so quietly deleting the episodes when being referred to as out.
Crime Junkie could be a weekly podcast hosted by Ashley Flowers of capital of Indiana and her childhood friend, Brit Prawat. Flowers, a self-proclaimed "crime junkie" herself, launched the podcast in December 2017 when operating along with her native Crime Stoppers. Flowers told point in time she hosted a criminal offense phase on a neighborhood station before beginning the podcast.
Over the past year, Crime Junkie has apace become one in every of the foremost widespread podcasts of the genre and is presently the foremost listened to series on the iTunes podcast charts. The show includes a five-star rating on iTunes and quite a hundred,000 reviews.
Flowers and Prawat have quickly leveraged their success, commerce merchandise and hosting a series of live shows round the country this summer and fall. They even have an exponent club on Patreon, wherever fans will pay for further content. (Full disclosure: I interviewed Flowers on the BuzzFeed News Twitter show AM to DM earlier this year and signed to her Patreon for a time.)
This week, however, the hosts have return below scrutiny when a journalist and different podcasters suspect the couple of not properly crediting sources. several episodes, as well as a number of those in question, have since nonexistent from the show's podcast archive while not rationalization.
The hosts failed to come letter of invitation for comment from BuzzFeed News. However, they announce an announcement on Facebook on Th locution they'd force the episodes as a result of "their supply material may not be found or properly cited."
"There is not any bigger priority for our team, or on behalf of me in person, than to confirm the very best levels of accuracy and integrity in our program," the statement browse. "Our analysis method is thorough, rigid, and thorough, and people at home with 'Crime Junkie' area unit aware that we tend to illuminate references to the utilization of different sources which comprehensive notes and links to any or all sources area unit created on the market on our show's web site."
The most outstanding allegation came from Cathy literary critic, a former journalist World Health Organization worked for fifteen years at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper. On Monday, literary critic commented on a post on Flowers' personal, but public, Facebook page, locution that she believed Crime Junkie used data from a series of articles she wrote as a supply for associate episode, however ne'er attributable her. Soon after, the episode was deleted while not rationalization.
The episode in question mentioned the 2002 murder of a 13-year-old lady from Arkansas named Kacie Woody. In 2003, literary critic wrote a four-part series on the case for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette referred to as "Caught within the net."
Frye told BuzzFeed News she initial learned of the podcast whereas traveling along with her 16-year-old girl. They listened to a number of episodes, and her girl detected the episode on Woody's case. however literary critic aforesaid she became angry once she detected many details within the episode that she had completely reported on in her series.
The hosts of Crime Junkie ne'er cited a supply for the data within the episode, Frye said. Instead, Flowers cited one "research."
“They couldn't have done the podcast they did and therefore the story they did while not my story right ahead of them," she said.
Frye spent months reportage on the case, winning the trust of Woody's father, nighest friends, and police. She aforesaid the project "sucked a giant a part of my soul," and she or he continues to be interviewed as associate skilled on the case for true crime media retailers. once literary critic realised her work was being disseminated by the podcast while not credit, she was "horrified."
“I was afraid they might take somebody's add such detail," she said.
Frye, World Health Organization delineate herself as an exponent of podcasts, aforesaid she has no downside being employed as a supply, however believes podcasters ought to offer credit wherever it's due.
“If you are going to use terribly specific, careful data from a primary supply, you ought to credit it," literary critic aforesaid.
Crime Junkie typically cites their sources for every podcast episode on a webpage. Since the episode that includes Woody has been deleted yet because the episode webpage, it's unclear if Frye's article was ever attributable. A cached version of the location failed to show any sources.
Another podcast fan, Millicent Tirk, wrote Tuesday on Facebook that she was "naming and shaming the podcast Crime Junkie for plagiarism," when the hosts used data from different podcasts while not correct credit.
After speaking with Tirk, BuzzFeed News was contacted by a couple of podcasters World Health Organization aforesaid they recognized their own add episodes of Crime Junkie, however weren't attributable. Some would solely speak off the record over fears of backlash from the show's giant fanbase, however 2 were willing to detail their accusations to BuzzFeed News.
Robin lawman, World Health Organization has hosted The path Went Cold podcast for 3 and a 0.5 years, conjointly promotes his program by summarizing several of the episodes on the Unresolved Mysteries subreddit, wherever he lists all of his sources. Last year, lawman announce concerning his episode on the case of the 2015 death of Henry McCabe. lawman aforesaid he believes the hosts of Crime Junkie later used it as their supply for a could 2018 podcast while not credit. lawman specifically cited a passage at 19:25 of Crime Junkie Episode twenty five, during which he claims Flowers is "practically reading verbatim" from his Reddit post.
In the episode, Flowers aforesaid she learned of the case "maybe in one different podcast episode," one "Reddit thread," and a "couple of reports articles," however did not specify the the sources. On the show's web site, Flowers cited an equivalent four news articles that lawman had sourced for his episode.
Warder aforesaid the difficulty of podcast hosts not properly citing their sources is prevailing within the business.
"There area unit typically problems within the true crime podcasting world with shows not citing their sources, and a few podcasts don’t do any analysis besides reading off Wikipedia," he said, "But Crime Junkie is maybe the foremost high-profile example of this."
Esther Ludlow, World Health Organization has hosted the Once Upon a criminal offense podcast for 3 years, aforesaid she in person researches and produces her podcast, and cites sources in her episode notes. Ludlow aforesaid she cites sources of direct quotes once she uses them in her episodes.
In Apr 2018, Ludlow discharged associate episode on a series of missing and dead ladies in urban center, Mexico. In June 2018, she aforesaid she detected Crime Junkie conjointly coated the case.
"I took a hear see however she had given it," Ludlow aforesaid. "After simply a number of minutes it measured terribly acquainted."
Ludlow aforesaid she force out her transcript of her episode, and located many instances she believes were "either verbatim, or nearly verbatim" from her own episode. She aforesaid the episode was conjointly given during a similar format.
"Some ideas and theories I place along from many sources were given on Crime Junkie’s episode as if they were Ashley’s own ideas," she said.
BuzzFeed News couldn't ensure Ludlow's allegations as a result of the episode has been deleted from Crime Junkie's episode list and web site. A cached page for the episode showed no sources.
Ludlow aforesaid she ne'er spoke to Flowers or Prawat concerning the difficulty, and has no plan why the episode was deleted.
After literary critic and Tirk's Facebook posts, accusations and rumors presently unfold across the web to forums just like the podcast's subreddit. several fans expressed disappointment with the allegations, and aforesaid they'd detected a number of different episodes had been deleted, like Episode seventy three, the case of Kirsten Hatfield, Episode 45, the case of Angela Savage, and Episode twenty seven, the case of Misty Copsey.
Posts concerning the Hatfield and Savage episodes area unit still continue to exist their Instagram page, however.
Some fans of the podcast aforesaid on Reddit they were confused concerning once, within the opaque and unregulated world of podcasts, one "research" becomes plagiarism.
"I [feel] like this can be a awfully gray area...as long as CJ cite the reference i do not see why she cannot use it," wrote one person.
"If she is in truth evidenced to be reading somebody else’s story verbatim i will be able to agree that it’s wrong," wrote another. "If she’s continuance facts verbatim as a locality of the story, that doesn’t very appear wrong to ME. perhaps I actually have a coffee ethical compass lol however a written article associated an episode of Crime Junkie area unit typically terribly completely different."
Many fans united, however, that podcasters ought to clearly cite their sources.
"Being that it looks they weren’t giving credit/citing properly, it’s positively a case for plagiarism," said one.
In their Facebook statement, the hosts wrote their podcast "would not be potential absent the unimaginable efforts of innumerous people World Health Organization investigate and report these stories originally, and that they should be attributable intrinsically."
"We area unit committed to operating among the burgeoning podcast business to develop and evolve its standards on these varieties of problems," they aforesaid.
Frye, the previous journalist, aforesaid that within the era of faux news and explosion of media retailers on-line, citing sources is extraordinarily necessary.
“Now quite ever, i believe it is vital to disclose wherever you bought your data, and other people will decide for themselves the quality," she said. “I simply raise that they provide credit wherever credit is due and be clear wherever they're obtaining their data."
Ludlow aforesaid she finds matters "infuriating" as a result of it threatens to offer podcasters a nasty name.
"I want individuals knew what quantity time and energy it takes into creating a no-hit show," she said. "Something like this provides individuals the mix up that podcasters, and particularly true crime podcasters, simply browse a Wikipedia article or different supply and replica it verbatim."